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What is bankruptcy counseling?

United States bankruptcy laws exist to help get people back on their feet financially. However, in many cases, erasing debt isn't enough to prevent someone from getting into debt problems again. For this reason, those filing for bankruptcy will need to complete various educational programs so they can learn how to better organize their finances.

There are two kinds of education and counseling courses borrowers must complete in order to finalize their bankruptcy proceedings: (1) credit counseling and (2) debtor education.

Credit counseling and bankruptcy

At some point within 180 days before filing for bankruptcy, borrowers need to carry out a debt management class or credit counseling course. These courses are provided by U.S. government-approved agencies throughout the United States. It's important that the agency providing the class is on the list of approved counseling providers so that the course will legally satisfy this requirement.

During bankruptcy counseling, borrowers will:

  • Learn different strategies for budgeting
  • Review their personal financing
  • Talk about alternatives to bankruptcy.

Debtor education and bankruptcy

The debtor education requirement must also be completed as a part of the bankruptcy process. Borrowers complete this requirement after filing for bankruptcy and before the court approves the final discharge of debt.

During debtor education, borrowers learn how to responsibly use credit, manage their money and set up a budget.

Choosing the right credit counseling and debtor education providers

The most important thing to consider when selecting a debtor education and credit counseling provider is whether or not they are accredited and certified. You may also want to ask the following:

  • What's the list of services the course offers?
  • Does the course help create a plan to avoid debt in the future?
  • What is the fee for the service?
  • Are the fees waivable?
  • How are the counselors trained and/or certified?

Filing for bankruptcy in the state of Ohio

Bankruptcy is a debt resolution option available to many Americans suffering from debt and loan difficulties. However, the process may not be the best solution for everyone, so before engaging in the process, borrowers should fully understand all of the options available to them.

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